If you've ever been shocked at the number on your supermarket receipt, it might be time to revisit how you grocery shop. Celebrity chef Melissa d'Arabian is a judge on "Guy's Grocery Games," and she says a little strategy can save you money at the store.
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First, be smart about buying meat. "Meat is usually the most expensive thing on your dinner plate," Melissa says. "Buy your meat when it's a 'loss leader,' not when you need it." In other words, pay attention to heavily discounted meat specials, stock up, and freeze for later use.
Next, cut costs by encouraging healthy eating at breakfast. "I believe in a nutritious breakfast that's really fast." Melissa suggests smoothies as a cheap, healthy alternative to other options. "My kids think it's hilarious that they're having spinach before noon," she says. "This will help you inexpensively get some fiber and protein into the kids before the day starts."
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Third, practice clever entertaining. When hosting a dinner party, Melissa suggests using inexpensive proteins in appetizers, like putting white beans on bruschetta. Then, when dinner comes and guests are eating something more expensive, they're not starving. "They're going to feel more satisfied at the end of that meal and have no idea that you tricked them into feeling full by giving them inexpensive protein," she says.
Melissa is also a big fan of couponing, and she works with Couponsforchange.org, which helps combat child hunger in addition to helping shoppers everywhere save money. "For every three coupons someone downloads, they're going to connect a child who needs a meal with a meal."
To find out Melissa's most requested dinner party dish that "costs pennies a serving," watch this episode of Daily Shot.